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Missouri casino operators object to higher fees to help veterans

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | 5:58 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri casino operatorssaid they should not be solely responsible for boosting funding to state-operated veterans' homes.

Missouri House members have suggested adding $1 to the $2 per-patron entrance fee that casinos already pay the state. Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has said the fresh revenue could provide a dedicated funding source for the seven existing veterans' homes and possibly pay for one more.

After several years of tight budgets, the Missouri Veterans Commissionsaid funding is running short.

At a House committee hearing Tuesday, Mike Winter of the Missouri Gaming Association said the fee increase would cost casinos $53 million. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also raised concern, saying funding for veterans' homes is a statewide issue that should not be the responsibility of one business sector.


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